ADL: Little change in European attitudes toward Jews

NEW YORK (JTA) – A study from the Anti-Defamation League found little change in European attitudes toward Jews over the past two years.

The study, released Tuesday and based on telephone interviews with 3,500 respondents in seven European countries, found that in six of those countries anti-Semitic attitudes had changed little since a similar ADL study was conducted in 2007. In the seventh country, the United Kingdom, there was a “marked decline” in the percentage of respondents who believe that at least three of four anti-Semitic stereotypes presented are “probably true.”

The margin of error for the survey is 4 percent in each country.

In announcing the study, the ADL noted that “millions” of Europeans believe in classical anti-Semitic stereotypes, including that Jews have too much power in business and finance and talk too much about the Holocaust. It also said that nearly half of those surveyed "believe Jews are not loyal to their country," a finding based on a question that asked if Jews are "more loyal" to Israel than to their country of residence.

“This poll confirms that anti-Semitism remains alive and well in the minds of many Europeans,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “It is distressing that there seems to be no movement away from the constancy of anti-Semitic held views, with accusations about Jews of disloyalty, control and responsibility for the death of Jesus.”

Overall, the study found that anti-Semitic feeling was most prevalent in Poland, Hungary and Spain, countries in which nearly half the respondents surveyed responded “probably true” to at least three anti-Semitic stereotypes.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom had the lowest such percentages, at 20 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent. Those countries also have the largest Jewish populations in Western Europe.

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